Sunday, April 12, 2009

Featured Seller - Southfield Designs

What part of the world are you in?

I am in the Berkshire Mountains of Mass.

What does customer service mean to you?

It means that I will repair or replace any piece that fails. That I take as much time as needed in planning a custom piece with a customer.

What is your most memorable experience with a customer?

I was at a craft fair and a woman came in a bought one of my Beady Bugs... a few minutes later she came back and bought 3 more.. She said she could not go home wearing one without bringing them home for her friends. She had never seen anything like them and she planned to wear it to Church and make everyone jealous.

What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?

There is no one doing what I do with my 'Beady Bugs'. There are other pressed flowers out there but none of them are presented the way I do!! I also pride myself on working with customers to make them exactly what they want.

How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?

I was a nursery school director for over 30 years and learned to deal with a lot of parents. Over the years I learned that patience and a sense of humor can go a long way. My beading and jewelry skills are growing all the time.

Do you have any formal training in your craft?

Not really.. I do take classes if they look interesting. I am taking a lampworking class in May.. I am always open to learning new skills that I can combine with the skills I already have.

What is your goal for the next year?

I am intrigued with the Celline Spiral and I am going to try to conquer it. I want to do mine with resin.

What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?

My husband.. who is always telling me that things will pick up.. so I keep on designing.. with 5 children (4 are girls) and 9 grandchildren (also 4 girls) I know that someone will always want a piece or 2. I really love the designing process so nothing can keep me from doing that!

ADMIN COMMENT: I am sure the children and grandchildren are happy to wear the jewelry!!

What do you do to attract new clients and encourage re-occurring business?

I offer discounts on future purchases.. I also donate $1.00 from every purchase to Autism Speaks. I send out'Blasts' via email every month offering specials.

If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening
their own store of handmade items, what would it be?

I have never really owned a store so it is hard for me to give advice.. but my general rule of thumb is work hard, be pleasant and have sense of humor and just do it!!!

We totally agree with what you said about having patience and a sense of humor. That is a great piece of advice for life in general! And we love that you are helping raise money for Autism!

Visit Joyce at one of her online shops, located at:
The piece shown above, GLASS BEAD LARIAT, is available for $65 USD. You can view it here.

1 comment: